Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Kraft-Tex Portfolio

A couple of weeks ago on The Moda Cutting Table blog, Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co. talked about using Kraft-Tex in her latest bag pattern. Kraft-Tex is a paper product that feels like leather and sews like fabric. It's washable, and the more you wash it, the more soft and leather-like it looks and feels. In that Moda blog post, there were also a few photos of a portfolio made with Kraft-Tex. Since I was needing a folder to carry our travel itinerary, contacts, tickets, etc. for our girls' Row x Row Road Trip, I decided to make my own Kraft-Tex portfolio.
Thistle Thicket Studio, Kraft-Tex, portfolio, diy folder

I washed the whole roll of Kraft-Tex first, then set out to draft my pattern. I knew I wanted to applique a sewing machine on one side, add some fabric embellishments on the flap, have a business card pocket, and a divider to create a couple of compartments.

I started by cutting my Kraft-Tex to the size I wanted, cutting a concave curve on one end and a convex curve on the other, then tri-folded it to create a flap. On the inside, between the two folds, I fused a layer of fabric. Then on the outside between the two folds, I appliqued a sewing machine. Fusing the fabric on the inside gave me a backing to sew through so that the paper wouldn't tear along the perforations caused by the stitching.

I made a divider to create two pockets in my portfolio by fusing fabric on both sides of a piece of Peltex cut to size. I also made a business card holder and sewed it onto the inside under the flap. I punched holes along the curved edge of the outer flap and wove a strip of fabric through the holes and tied it in a knot. Lastly, I sewed down the sides with the fabric divider between the folded Kraft-Tex.
Thistle Thicket Studio, sewing portfolio, Kraft-Tex, diy folder

I love the way this portfolio turned out and sewing with the Kraft-Tex was fun. Although I didn't get to use my portfolio for our girls' road trip since it was cut short, I have been using it to keep all of my mom's medical paperwork together since the car accident. Hopefully, one day, I'll get to use it again for our next girls' road trip.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

One Lovely Blog Award x 3

It's been one of those weeks you hope you don't repeat ever again (see this post for the reason why). But one of the highlights of the week was my blog being nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award - not once, not twice, but three times! I've met each of the people who nominated my blog through the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Group. I enjoy each of their blogs and I hope you'll stop by their blogs too. Kathy at Kathy's Kwilts and More and I have become online buddies, helping each other with blogging questions, quilting ideas, etc., and she's been great sending me words of encouragement this last week. Sola blogs at Alice Samuel's Quilt Co. and was in my hive, Hive Sewciety, for the New Quilt Bloggers group. She is a quilter in Nigeria and its interesting to follow her adventures. Sue at Sevenoaks Street Quilts has a fun modern style and I'm enjoying following her to see what's on her design wall. Thank you so much girls for this awesome honor!

The Rules for this award are:
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Display the image of the award on your post.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

Seven facts about little ole me:

1. I'm kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Some of the jobs I've held over the years include newspaper editor, library aide, yearbook instructor, economic development director and quilt shop owner.

2. As economic development director, I successfully wrote grants totaling more than $7 million.

3. I went to jr. high and high school with Steve Tasker, special teams phenom for the Buffalo Bills from 1986-1997.

4. My close encounters of the political kind (good, bad & ugly) - I sat next to then-U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole at a convention banquet for Extension Homemaker Units. I met then-Vice President Al Gore at a meeting for one of the grants I wrote. I served on a Rural Task Force for then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius (who later infamously served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services when Obamacare was implemented).

5. I was a volunteer EMT for 15 years and was the first person in the state of Kansas to ace the EMT-D certification test.

6. My guilty pleasure - watching the Real Housewives TV shows from any and all of the cities. My favorite housewife is Bethany Frankel and I can't stand NeNe Leakes.

7. My cousin's daughter just tried out and made the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader team. So my new fav TV show is going to be Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team. The new season starts Thursday, August 25. Watch for Allie!

I'd like to nominate the following blogs and bloggers because I enjoy visiting their blogs and I think you will too:


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Annual Row x Row Road Trip

Well, I can't say it was a smashing success - but it was smashing.

My quilty friends and I set out on our annual Row x Row Road Trip last week, full of anticipation of three fun-filled days of quilt shops culminating in a day at Missouri Star Quilt Co. and a trunk show by Jenny Doan. The first day started out with food and surprise gifts.....
Thistle Thicket Studio

And ended like this.....
Thistle Thicket Studio

Unfortunately, a pickup truck ran a stop sign and pulled into the path of one of our vehicles, sending two of our group (my mom and aunt) to a trauma unit in Kansas City. They both have multiple injuries and are looking at weeks and weeks in rehab facilities. We are praying they will recoup well and return to their active lives as soon as possible and pain free.

In the meantime, I may be quite sporadic on this blog. I hope you'll understand and continue to check in.


Monday, August 15, 2016

A Work In Progress: Medallion Quilt Challenge

I've blogged a couple of times about the medallion quilt challenge members of my quilt guild are working on this year, but it has been awhile so I thought I'd catch y'all up on my progress. {insert cheesy grin here} I'm so excited with the direction this quilt is going that I just have to share. Warning: photo overload ahead!
Thistle Thicket Studio, medallion quilt, quilt guild challenge, 3D pinwheels

As you may remember if you've stopped by before, we started out the year with the instruction to make a center block.
Thistle Thicket Studio, paper piecing, star block, medallion quilts, quilt guild challenge

From there, each month a new block or technique is drawn from a bag for the next instruction. The rounds to date have been drawn in the following order:
  • February - Applique
  • March - Rail Fence
  • April - Flying Geese
  • May - Wild Card (we could choose whatever we wanted to do)
  • June - Pinwheels
And since I'm behind and trying to catch up, the next two rounds that have been drawn are:
  • July - 4-patch
  • August - Piano Keys
I've tried to challenge myself each round. For our center square, I made a paper pieced star from the book "50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars" by Carol Doak. I've done a little paper piecing, but not much, so I enjoyed taking on a larger project. As for applique, I enlarged the flowers in one of the pieces of fabric in the Antique Fair collection by Blackbird Designs that I'm using and used that for my applique.
Thistle Thicket Studio, medallion quilt, quilt guild challenge, machine applique, antique fair fabric

For the rail fence, I found a ribbon border that used the rail fence block to create it, which was a challenge to figure out the math to make it fit. I shared a tutorial on how to make the Rail Fence Ribbon Border here.
Thistle Thicket Studio, fence rail, ribbon border, medallion quilt, quilt guild challenge

Then I decided to place my center on point and make the setting triangles with the flying geese blocks. Talk about a math challenge! I ended up taking the corners off after this picture and trimming them up a little to take out some of the waviness.
Thistle Thicket Studio, medallion quilt, flying geese, quilt guild challenge

Luckily, the wild card was drawn next which allowed me to cut odd width strips to make my square a size divisible by 4 so that my next round of 4" pinwheels fit. To dress up that plain border, I added prairie points.
Thistle Thicket Studio, medallion quilt, prairie points, quilt guild challenge

And, for those pinwheels, I found a 3-D pinwheel pattern for a little variation from the standard pinwheel.
Thistle Thicket Studio, medallion quilt, quilt guild challenge, 3D pinwheels

I'm anxious to finish up the pinwheel border and move to the 4-patch & piano key borders because I've got something planned that I think will really set this quilt off. Can't wait to share more pictures at that point so you'll have to keep checking back! {wink, wink}

Our quilt guild is starting to talk about what next year's challenge will be. Do you belong to a guild? Do you have challenges? Please share your favorite quilt challenges for ideas!


Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Moda's Carrie Nelson, otherwise known as @modarosie on Instagram, has been a little pincushion obsessed lately. She challenged herself to make a pincushion-a-day during the month of July and she wrapped up her obsession with a post on Moda's Cutting Table blog today called "This isn't just about tomatoes". People were invited to post photos of their 'pinnies' on Instagram today using the hashtag #modapinniepalooza and it inspired me to finish this pin bowl project I had started awhile back. It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it and love the tumbleweed (thistle) that is my logo and, of course, the jadeite green color!
Thistle Thicket Studio, pin bowl, custom logo pin bowl

I'm not really a pincushion aficionado, however, I love a cute pinnie, especially if its vintage. I picked up this globe pincushion, complete with thimble and built-in tape measure, last winter at the Vintage Whites antique show. I had never seen one like it and just had to get it. Maybe I just hadn't looked for vintage pincushions before because I have seen a couple of these since then.
Thistle Thicket Studio, pincushion, vintage pincushions, globe pincushion

My mom and I started our own obsession last summer with vintage planters, with the plan of making them into pincushions. We've searched high and low for them while antiquing this past year and now have quite an impressive collection, but only two have made it to pincushion status. The first one, I made for my 1 year blogiversary giveaway last September (wow, I'm coming up on two years soon?!).

The second one I made for my mom for Christmas. We still have hopes of hosting our quilty friends for a little lesson on English paper piecing and letting everyone pick a planter to make a pincushion with a little EPP hexie flower on top.
Thistle Thicket Studio, vintage planter, vintage planter pincushion, vintage pincushion, vintage sewing notions

Currently, this owl sits on my cutting table and serves as a pincushion. I love this owl and made him a couple of years ago from Whimsicals Home To Roost book and fabric. I also have a vintage jar on my cutting table that holds flower head pins (lower left corner).
Thistle Thicket Studio, cutting table, vintage scale, Home To Roost owl pincushion, vintage baby buggy, yardstick tray

Speaking of pins, I'm in search of a good straight pin, one that's thin, sharp, long, and with a glass head. Any suggestions? What's your favorite straight pin and pincushion?


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Quilts For Peace

My son-in-law --- husband to my daughter, father to my grandsons --- is a police officer in Texas. So the ambush and killing of five Dallas police officers a few weeks ago hit very close to home for me (an additional seven police officers and two civilians were wounded). The hate and violence aimed at those who protect and serve us is so heartbreaking and scary. When the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild put out the call for help to make blocks for quilts for the families of the fallen officers, I felt it was one small way that I could show my compassion, support and heartfelt appreciation for their sacrifice and, hopefully, provide some comfort to those grieving.
Thistle Thicket Studio, quilts for peace, #quiltsforpeace, heart quilt block, quilts, quilting

The Dallas MQG chose to use a 10" heart block pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew made in blues with a solid white background for these Quilts For Peace. Instead of making a few blocks to send, I decided to make a quilt for the cause.
thistle Thicket Studio, quilts for peace, #quiltsforpeace, heart block, Cluck Cluck Sew heart pattern

I used an assortment of blue fat quarters to make a total of 30 blocks and sashed them with a 2" white border.
Thistle Thicket Studio, quilts for peace, #quiltsforpeace, Cluck Cluck Sew heart block

As I worked on this quilt last week, another police officer was killed in the line of duty. This time it was too close to home - it was in the city where my son-in-law serves as a police officer. The officer killed was his former training officer.
Thistle Thicket Studio, quilts for peace, #quiltsforpeace, Modern Curves
I'm guilty of not sharing or showing my feelings most of the time, on this blog or in person. I've written this blog post in my head many times, but now that I'm sitting in front of the computer typing this, the words are not there. Maybe it's best to simple say what I included on the label for this quilt: "God bless those who take the oath to protect and serve us. Prayers for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and for the families they leave behind."
Thistle Thicket Studio, quilts for peace, thin blue line, quilt label, quilts, quilting

Quilt Stats:
  • Size: 62" x 72"
  • Pattern: Heart Block by Cluck Cluck Sew
  • Fabrics: Assorted blue fat quarters for hearts, Bleached  White Bella Solids for background, Kona Nautical for binding, Spot On #14868 by Robert Kaufman for backing.
  • Thread: Aurifil 2024 (white) for piecing, Signature Solid White 40 wt. for quilting
  • Quilting Design: Modern Curves by Anita Shackelford
  • Batting: Quilters Dream Poly
  • Completed: August 1, 2016
  • Made For: Dallas Modern Quilt Guild to be gifted to a family of one of the Dallas Police Officers killed or wounded on July 7, 2016.
Thistle Thicket Studio, quilts for peace, #quiltsforpeace, heart quilt block, quilts, quilting